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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,981 ratings  ·  518 reviews
Keeper is a breathtaking, magical novel from National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.

To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong.

But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gat
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published May 18th 2010 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published May 2010)
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May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I don't consider myself a particularly sentimental person. I don't really cry at movies (E.T. was supposed to go home, for crying out loud). Television shows leave me high and dry (sorry LOST finale). And books? Considering that I read most of them in quick bits and bites as I travel the New York City subway system, you're going to be some kinda book to crack so much as a sniffle out of me, let along an out-and-out bawl. So imagine my surprise the other day as I stood on the platform of the F tr ...more
Asghar Abbas
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Me to this lovely book : Thank you for the word and no, that word isn't Ningyo.

You know what I love about this book. It wasn't very clear whether an actual mermaid was involved in the story or not. But what there wasn't any ambiguity about was the love shown here. A mother's love.

An ocean isn't large enough hold the love a mother has for her daughter, or keep it for long. Is that a simplistic thing to say. Sure, but it's okay. You can take it and this haunting book is worth such kooky sappines
I am double minded about this book. As an adult I really enjoyed it - 4 stars worth. I really appreciated Appelt's poetic writing style and the self discovery that Keeper goes through during this story. I loved the community that the story is set in - the depth of relationships is important to the book. I also enjoyed the elements of fantasy and magic int he story. Are merpeople real?

On the other hand, as a teacher, I am more ambivalent about it. I think that it might be "a tough sell." First of
Feb 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I found this at Powell's on sale, and autographed. I used my "random page" test and knew I must take this home to read with my daughter.

I'm usually a biography person because they are linear and easy to follow. This book was a pleasure from beginning to end, and unexpected. I was delighted by the back stories belonging to each character and found myself wanting to live on Oyster Ridge Road with these true friends.

I would recommend this book to anyone. My children begged for me to read this to th
Margo Tanenbaum
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mermaids
I'm hoping this one makes the short list for the Newbery...This is one of the most beautifully written children's novels I've read in some time. Our heroine, called by everyone Keeper, is a 10-year old girl whose mother left her when she was 3 in the care of her roommate, Signe. Born literally in the sea, Keeper believes her mother is a mermaid, and that her mother literally swam away from her to join the other mermaids. Keeper has made a life for herself in a tiny community on the Texas coast w ...more
Sep 02, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: j-fic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
I have very mixed feelings about this book. Two stars? Three stars? One star? I could make a case for all of those ratings. I am sure my expectations were way too high, after just reading "The Underneath" by the same author, which was absolutely amazing. "Keeper" just didn't do it for me. I had a hard time getting into the story, unlike "The Underneath" which entranced me from start to finish. I did enjoy it's originality, and the blend of reality and fantasy, but sometimes original became just ...more
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unique characters, beautiful illustrations, and a nice plot. But I think that this book included some unlikely events. I do realize that this book's genre is fantasy but some things that Keeper accomplished required bravery and apparently not that much thinking.

I was also kind of confused where Signe, Keeper's guardian mentioned that manatees didn't exist. Aren't manatees the ones also known as sea cows?

Something else I want to bring up is that I thought it was particularly interesting* that Ál
The Reading Countess
May 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
Mothers of potential readers of this book should read this review...

I decided to give Kathi Appelt one more try (The Underneath, remember?) And I knew I wouldn't be disappointed! This one bugged me too! Bad attitude, eh? Classic example: (it's referring to a seagull pet named Captain and a young girl named Keeper)

"Keeper would sometimes hand over something else, a strawberry or a potato chip or even his favorite, his most beloved, his all-time highest exalted sublime most delicious stultifyingl
You know how there are some people who really like fire and others who really like water? Well, I think I am both. I love the ocean, yet I also love a nice bonfire. Keeper by Kathi Appelt called to mind a glorious vacation by the ocean which I once had. I read this entire book in the car in less than two hours. I know its weird, but I like to sit in the car while my boyfriend coaches soccer. There are no distractions and I get a lot of reading done during his games. While I read this, I was not ...more
Le Quynh Huong
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-calming
I read this book in Vietnamese, and previously found this one totally new with 50% discount like one or two years ago. But as what people have said, this book is so much more than that, itself is such an amazing and unpredictable ocean that you can hold in your hand.

Keeper is a little sparkle but her warmness could embrace every heart that is beating. The story of her and her troubles and her belief toward an ocean, are all beautiful in a simple and easy-going way.

I could imagine it all like a m
Mai Ly
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Câu chuyện về một cô bé với thế giới khép kín của mình với biển, những con vật tinh nghịch và những người mà cô bé yêu.

Có lẽ trẻ con, hay kể cả người lớn, đều sẽ không biết được rằng mình đang hạnh phúc đến dường nào nếu không một lần vô tình bị đẩy ra khỏi vòng lặp an toàn thường nhật. Thi thoảng sóng gió nên đến và qua đi để con người ta biết trân trọng mọi thứ và con người xung quanh mình nhiều hơn.

Một câu chuyện đúng chất dành cho thiếu nhi, dễ đọc và nhẹ nhàng.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Best book I've ever read!
Angela R. Watts
Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: terrible-books
Would not recommend to younger readers (or anyone). A homosexual couple is woven through the book. Pretty distasteful, for such an enjoyable writing style.
May 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, 7up
Can see this one taking home a Newbery honor this year. The story covers a single day in the life of Keeper, a 10 year old Texan who fancies herself part mermaid, and her Oyster Road family, essentially a foster family of neighbors who have been looking after Keeper since her mom ran off (or did she swim off?) when she was just three years old. And it's a doozey of a day. What is supposed to be a perfect afternoon of preparation followed by a perfect blue moon evening (with a traditional blue mo ...more
Brian Kelley
Jan 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about Kathi Appelt's Keeper as I'm big fan of her initial novel The Underneath and I'm a fan of hers as a person. That said, Keeper wasn't The Underneath.

There wasn't a character in Keeper who I connected with on any level. The novel tells the tale of a significant day in the life of the title character. Keeper is a young girl starts the day by causing one calamity after another within her extended family. Each miscue has a deep seeded significance to a different character,
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Mar 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Parents and Educators
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: Shelf Awareness

Mini Synopsis: This is a children’s and pre-teen book where the main character is Keeper. She is an almost ten year old girl who lives on the beach by the gulf of Mexico in Texas. There are a menagerie of animals in her life - two dogs, a cat, and a seagull, but what is special is that she can hear them talk.

She is well loved and cared for by Signe, her mom by default, their friend Dogie (a healing war veteran turned local surf board rental guy), and an old Russian sailor named Mr. Beauchamp. Ke
Mary Ann
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while, I read a book that pulls me into a different world and wraps me the threads of its characters' stories. Keeper, by Kathi Appelt, is a mesmerizing, beautiful story that is one of the very best books I've read in a long time. It would make a wonderful family read-aloud, with many themes or issues to talk about and beautiful writing to enjoy.

Ten-year-old Keeper has had a terrible day. Everything went wrong, and it was a blue moon - it was supposed to be a perfect, extra-special day
Dec 04, 2012 added it
Appelt, Kathi. (2010). keeper. New York: Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. 409 pp. ISBN 978-1-4169-5060-8 (Hard Cover); $16.99.

Ten crabs work magic on Keeper and turn what should be a perfect blue moon day into a perfect nightmare. Keeper creates the perfect plan for repairing damage. The key is finding her mermaid mother.

Somehow I missed reviewing this marvelous book last season! I love writing in which central metaphors are reinforced by the text structure—that perfect blend of form and style. I
Being a big fan of mermaids and having a small collection of mermaid pieces, I was excited about reading Kathi Appelt's novel, Keeper. I can happily say that it is a delightful read in which the possibility of mermaids and other magical occurrences capture your imagination and take it to a place of suspended belief. Another of my favorite objects, the full moon, is in play in this tale, too. In fact, it is a blue moon, the second full moon of a month, and I had just experienced a blue moon when ...more
Lisa Nocita
Nov 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Keeper is ten years old and believes her mother is a mermaid who has returned to the sea. She lives on a small sandy stretch of beach off of the Texas Gulf Coast with Signe, her adoptive mother, Dogie, who rents surfboards to toursits, and their neighbor, an elderly seaman. The cast of characters includes a charismatic seagull, 2 dogs, and an ancient cat. The story is blend of magical realism and a coming of age story as Keeper realizes that her mother may not be what Keeper has always believed. ...more
Francesca Forrest
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: research
I was very much looking forward to reading this book, and it was as wonderful as I had hoped it would be, though not in the way I expected.

I knew it was going to be a story with small events and quiet magic, but at first it looked as if maybe the magic was going to be that grown-up thing that I always hated as a kid: “Oh, the real magic is the beauty of ordinary life, my dear.” Grrr. Yes, okay, ordinary life has magic to it, but sometimes I want more magical magic. And I wanted it for this story
Sinai C.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
When I first started reading Keeper, I thought this was going to be a fantasy book. Hardcore fantasy with a whole world like Atlantis or something.'s honestly a story about a 10 year old girl, who believes her mother is a mermaid, and therefore, when the worst day of her young life happens...she goes to look at her. This will not have repercussions of course...she has the perfect plan! Which she memorizes to be sure nothing goes wrong. This includes--sneaking out into a row boat onto a ...more
I have mixed feeling about this book.

Beautifully written with lyrical/poetic prose, this carefully crafted story offers lovely imagery, powerful language, and poignant themes.


The frequent POV changes and repeated shifts from past to present make it a challenging story some young listeners to follow, not to mention the subdued action and the repeating of elements from different POV (including animals)slow the book down considerably and offer additional points of confusion.

There is also
Gary Paulson
Apr 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: publisher-arc
A pot of crabs begin what is to be Keeper’s worst day ever. Everything she tries to do to make things right only make things worse. Keeper, a 10 year-old girl, feels she has ruined everything for everyone.

The story rocks back and forth between the present and the past and we slowly see the layers which brought us to this special ‘Blue Moon’ day. This day which was going to be special to everyone. But Keeper had ruined it. For everyone. How could she fix what she had done?

Maybe her real mother co
Jan 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Keeper is really a three-star book for me, writing-wise, though emotionally it's probably 4 stars. Perhaps it's 3.5 stars? Ten-year-old Keeper lives in a small neighbourhood on the Gulf coast down in Texas, passing her days by helping Dogie wax surfboards and listening to Mr. Beauchamp's stories. She has no blood family--her mermaid mother swam away when she was a toddler, though she has a loving surrogate mother in Signe. On the day of the blue moon, everything goes wrong--broken treasures, ang ...more
Michelle Delgado
Nov 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a dreamy,mystical kind of book.It is not for everyone, but I loved it. I loved Keeper,Dogie,Signe and the animal characters.I live 20 minutes from the coast between Galveston and Corpus and I know exactly the kind of place the author was describing.I could taste the gumbo,the salt in the air,hear the seagulls etc.In fact,I have been out fishing (years ago)in a place like that on a night like that so I could relate to Keeper.I will admit that the pace was slow but I do think it fit the bo ...more
Kim Van Sickler
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
My favorite mermaid book yet. The only reason I don't give it five stars is the slow and redundant beginning. I know the author was going for tension and she succeeded (more so starting at about the mid-way point of the book), but I was plenty annoyed more than a few times during the first half. Having said that, the target audience, precocious 10-year-olds, might like that redundancy and drawn out tension-building more.

LOVED the history behind the mer creatures and the character-building of th
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Lives in College Station, TX with husband Ken and four adorable cats.

Two sons, both musicians.

Serves on the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.
“He put his hand in his pocket and found the porte-bonheur, still warm. He looked back at the pier. The one-eyed cat waited. All at once, Henri Beauchamp spun on his heels and stretched his arms wide to the morning sky. It didn't matter, did it, what Jack was? It only mattered that he loved him.” 4 likes
“Dogie’s surfboards were like works of art. Splashed across their rainbow-colored decks were air-brushed paintings of waterfalls and sea dragons and a host of other fantastic creatures. Her favorite painting was a winged horse that looked like part horse and part comet, with its long tail blazing down the length of the board.” 0 likes
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